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Comment: Re:Assuming we find a hydrocarbon energy substitut (Score 1) 225

by khallow (#47941669) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

One that's as cheap, energy dense and as easy to handle at room temperature as oil, coal, natural gas and so on.

Well, there is coal. That's not going away by 2100 despite your assertion.

Like all species, we simply consume resources until the population crashes.

Which is incorrect. As the paper notes, most of the population growth comes from Africa and Asia. The developed world actually is a population sink - the overpopulation problem has been fixed there. What responsibility am I supposed to have for population growth elsewhere in the world? And what power am I supposed to have to fix that?

Comment: Re:Africa (Score 1) 225

by khallow (#47941621) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100
A couple of remarks here. First, there are 3000 dead now from Ebola, which is more than it has infected in all previously known infections (though obviously, it may have killed more in the past before we were aware of it). What it has done in the past is not necessarily what it will do in the future, and we're already in uncharted waters with Ebola having reached large urban areas.

WHO is projecting hundreds of thousands of infections over the next year and a half. If it's lethality doesn't go down, then that's a lot of deaths too.

Second, Europe didn't lose a quarter of its population to the 1918 influenza pandemic. A better guess is 2%.

Comment: Re:Not a problem... (Score 1) 225

by khallow (#47941585) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

but it becomes almost a zero-sum game

No, it doesn't. Just because there is a disadvantage to a choice, doesn't mean that it is "almost" zero sum. You still have to consider the advantages.

Of course, I suspect none of it will matter- the rich will live where they desire to live and any knock on impact on anyone else? well they can go fuck themselves, because humans are an inherently selfish species.

What species would not be a selfish species in your sense? And this overpopulation problem isn't being caused by the rich. It's being caused by the teeming masses of non-rich.

Comment: Re:Won't solve the real issue. (Score 1) 64

by khallow (#47936911) Attached to: Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry

You can both have profits and create jobs at the same time.

Again, I see no evidence for the "create jobs" aspect or why it's even worth discussing.

Exactly. When this VC funds companies that serve government, those companies become unavailable for more productive work, like serving the private sector and the free market

No, when the government funds the companies that serve government, then a lot of resources, not just the companies themselves, become unavailable for the private sector, "free" markets, etc.

Comment: Re:...the best photographers were older people... (Score 1) 95

by DerekLyons (#47933773) Attached to: How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

Which is still the truth, in general. Photography on a cell phone does not equate to photography with a digital camera -- knowing what f-stop is, or shutter speed, or focal length, or a LOT of the other of the fine-grain minutiae that comes from a lot of time spent with film and digital cameras taking hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs.

No, photography on a cell phone does not equate to photography that deals with fine grained minutiae. But, so what? Technical minutiae isn't art. It's what geeks and wannabees toss around in order to puff themselves up and make themselves feel important.

Comment: Re:...the best photographers were older people... (Score 1) 95

by DerekLyons (#47933743) Attached to: How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

All that experience can be accumulated hundreds of times faster in digital where you can see immediate results.

I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you on that for the vast majority. Why worry about composition, aperture, exposure, and white balance when one can burn through dozens upon dozens of photos, previewing the results immediately waiting for something worthwhile to show up, and sort/crop/align later.

You aren't disagreeing with the grandparent, you're talking about apples while he's talking oranges. And in reality, you're both correct.
He's correct in that by speeding up the loop (from taking the picture to reviewing the finished product) it's possible to learn photography much faster today than in the film era. You're correct that it's possible to produce a good image by sheer luck and Photoshop.

I've seen this first hand with my daughters and their friends. The shotgun approach may produce the occasional interesting photos but does not lead to refined skills required to produce stunning images.

But here's where you go off the rails into apple territory - your daughter and her friends are not all photographers. And just because they aren't interested in actually learning photography, that doesn't preclude those that are interested from taking advantage of the faster loop to learn from doing so.

Comment: Re:Blastoff From the Past (Score 2) 18

by DerekLyons (#47933683) Attached to: ULA and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Announce Rocket Engine Partnership

Looking at Bezos's New Shepherd Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing vehicle you might think that somewhere along the line Jeff caught a glimpse of Boeing's old design.

Maybe, maybe not. The same basic design was proposed as a reusable first stage for the Space Shuttle (in it's first incarnation as a crew taxi) by (IIRC) McDonnell Douglas back in the early/mid 1960's.

Comment: Re:Worse than it seems. (Score 1) 214

by khallow (#47933419) Attached to: Obama Presses Leaders To Speed Ebola Response

Sadly, I think that if it happened now, we would be in a situation where people staying home would end up causing them to loose their home due to a lack of income, and any calls to help those people would be met by Neo-Con hate.

I guess you ought to leave the thinking to grown ups. So why would "neo-cons" want to foreclose on a zillion underwater (in the sense that the debt owed is more than the price the home can be sold for) home loans? That turns a temporary shutdown of the loan repayment revenue stream into a large permanent loss. They haven't bankrupted themselves enough that month?

Comment: Re:Won't solve the real issue. (Score 1) 64

by khallow (#47931857) Attached to: Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry

If people don't fleece him enough and he actually turns out to be successful, that just means the make-jobs program worked.

Again, that's not what he's doing. Public funding is potentially a huge profitable gravy train. This has little to do with creating jobs except incidentally. The only people who would be fleeced are taxpayers, which is already rather easy to do.

Further, while I haven't brought it up before in this discussion, what is supposed to be the benefit to just "creating jobs"? Hiring people for make-work means that they aren't available for more productive work.

Comment: Re:Take the long view (Score 1) 486

by DerekLyons (#47927437) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Charlie Stross recently posted a very good take on this: This is a permanent change. Whatever happens during the first few years is basically irrelevant, compared to the long-term results. Did Norway separating from Sweden cause short-term economic upheaval? Does that matter at all a century later?

Yes it matters a century later - because what happens in those first few years sets the stage for what happens a century later. Historical events don't 'just happen' and then toddle off into the history books without leaving long term effects, real and "imaginary" (psychological).

Comment: Re:Wow, I am impressed (Score 1) 183

I did not think SpaceX even with its excellent track record would have convinced the bureaucrats to give them a solid chance instead of just give everything to Boeing as usual.

SpaceX's excellent track record? Ship me some of what you're smoking, as it must be good stuff. (Seriously, where do you guys get this stuff?)
SpaceX's track record is far from excellent. The first flight of the Falcon 9 was six months late, the first flight of the Falcon/Dragon COTS was two years late. (And that's pretty much been the pattern to date - they've been unable to demonstrate a consistent ability to meet launch schedules or to maintain a significant flight rate.) They've had a steady series of technical problems with both the Falcon booster and the Dragon CRS capsules. Granted, they're getting better, but their track record overall is spotty at best.
is why SpaceX was given a solid chance rather than the whole enchilada.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein